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Testimony to Witness to Guantanamo (Saber Lahmer)

Not the Sheraton

The tragedy is at first I had a tooth ache, and they left me with this pain for one month and a half. The interrogator had made that decision. And afterwards a corpsman comes to my cell, he saw my teeth, and he said that it was catastrophic. Now that had reached an extreme point because it was a very, very dangerous case. And so the interrogator was forced to give the order that I be taken to the doctors. And see how it happened... I went to the doctor, the dentist, he didn't talk with me, not a word. And I wait for him to speak. For instance do you pull the tooth off or do you fix it? And I think, "Now, I wait for him to ask the question". And he didn't speak to me, not a word. He took his pliers like this, and I say, 'What is he doing?' And I think that maybe he won't pull—and I hope he won't pull—because my tooth isn't really very broken, you could… and that's what I was thinking. He gave me a few shots like this, and right away he pulled. But I said, 'What's the meaning of all that?' He said, 'That's it.' And I said, 'You need to fix it! It isn't..' And he said, 'No. You're not at the Sheraton here, you're in prison, and that is all we have. We pull your tooth off, or you stay the way you are.' He threw it in the garbage can like that. He told a guard, 'Take him back to his cell.' That's how it was.

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Discovering the Truth

And I remained in a Sarajevo prison for three months. During those three months, no one spoke with me. I had not one interrogation. For three months, all I did was eat and sleep. And always, everyday, I look for interrogators; I look for something so they will speak with me. Why am I there? There is no one coming to speak with me.

After three months, I saw the judge on television. She was a woman. She must be about 52 years old. She said, “Now, I must speak the truth. This man has done nothing at all. He needs to leave prison now and to return home. And he must not, I am giving orders, so that he must not be followed by the police again.” And right away, I packed my things, just like that, and I get ready to leave the prison and to go home.

At that time, it must be about 2 a.m., and at the very moment when I leave the prison, right away, the American police are waiting in front of the prison, with cars and with the Bosnian police. And right away, the guard said, “Do you know where you are going now?” I said, “Home, just as the judge said on television.” He said, “That’s what she said on television, but do you know the truth?” I said “No.” “She said, that in a few hours, you will be leaving for Guantanamo.”

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